Approaching the end of his dual-discipline masters in Global Energy & Environmental Law, and, Comparative Constitutional Law & Human Rights, Old Blue and University of Texas School of Law student Richard McNulty, from the Class of 2013, has set his sights on an international career.
“I always knew that I wanted to live in America one day. When I was at Blue Coat, America seemed like a mysterious and place where movies were made, inventions were imagined, and copious amounts of food were consumed. America was always something that I wanted to try, and so when in my second year of University in London I was offered a year of studying abroad at The University of Texas, School of Law, I jumped at the opportunity. The chance of going abroad was just what I needed to reenergise me in my university studies. It was the perfect excuse to travel with the productivity of an additional qualification at the end of my degree.
America was not how I imagined and neither was Texas. I expected to touch down in a place where people rode horses, wore Stetsons and were fiercely conservative and religious. What I found couldn’t have been further from my imagination. Texas was full of a variety of views and it took me over three weeks to find a McDonalds.
I ended up staying in Texas for two years at which point I finally was forced to return to the UK to complete my degree. However, shortly after returning I receive a phone call saying that The University of Texas, School of Law had offered me a place on a master’s programme and that I would only be charged the price of a domestic (rather than international) student. So, I am back here now in Austin Texas.
I am completing a dual-discipline masters in Global Energy & Environmental Law, and, Comparative Constitutional Law & Human Rights. The chance to be here completing a master’s degree is only because of the opportunities that I took as an undergraduate. Studying abroad was essential for broadening my horizons, fulfilling my dreams, and opening my mind to realise that stereotypes are so often not true no matter who they are about. Studying in Texas is completely different to studying in the UK. The facilities alone are enough to inspire awe, as the University football team’s stadium is nearly twice the size of Anfield and the University holds the first ever photograph taken, a Frieda Kahlo painting, and one of the original Guttenberg Bibles. I have also been taught by internationally famous law professors and had the chance of working with a Professor on a book as well as editing well-respected law journals such as the Texas Journal of Oil Gas & Energy Law. In addition to all of this, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity of working on death row in Texas which I did for six months, working on habeas corpus appeals for those sentenced to death. I still do this now as pro bono work alongside my studies.
After my course here finishes in May, I will sit the Texas Bar Exam in July, and then seek work in both the US and UK as a lawyer. I am hoping to have a role which allows me to travel more and to practice internationally between the UK and the US. As many US law firms have offices in London I am optimistic about this, especially due to now having transatlantic work experience. In a globalised world, being culturally and commercially aware are essential, and studying abroad anywhere is the best way to broaden employment prospects in law, as it shows not just a well-travelled and well-rounded person, but also knowledge of other jurisdictions and an ability to communicate with a wide array of people.
Being a Blue Coat student taught me that anything is possible and to seize all chances given. In my opinion, Blue Coat students are some of the best positioned in the country to tackle new challenges although this is often something you only appreciate after leaving school. I am so grateful for my time at Blue Coat and still think about the school extremely fondly.”
Richard McNulty, Class of 2013